Don't Nerf Mearatas (yet)

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by gotwar, Feb 12, 2019.

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  1. Sokki Augur

    SoD was also one of the easiest raid expansions ever. The "Hard Mode" version they added to keep guilds busy limited guilds to 36 players in the raid and it still got steam rolled. While I agree there are less current end game guilds than before, SoD isn't a very good comparison. Take a look at how many guilds finished UF the very next year and I'd bet it's less than 20.
    Brohg likes this.
  2. Sancus Augur

    I thought this might be interesting (Edit: No I didn't actually, I just wanted a release from the grind that is TT).

    Format of this list is:
    Expansion - # of guilds to beat it before the next - # of guilds to beat it total

    GoD - 0 - 212
    OoW - 0 - 141
    DoN - 34 - 209
    DoDH - 6 - 117
    PoR - 14 - 108
    TSS - 7 - 129 (I only looked at frostcrypt, too lazy to check both)
    TBS - 7 - 106
    SoF - 10 - 87
    SoD - 59 - 99
    UF - 5 - 54
    HoT - 34 - 44
    VoA - 21 - 26
    RoF - 32 - 47
    CotF - 33 - 49
    TDS - 29 - 32
    TBM - 25 - 31
    EoK - 22 - 27
    RoS - 20 - 20

    I also made a chart about a week ago of the # of guilds to beat at least one raid in expansion over time, as that seems to have a bit clearer of a trend than the above #'s:

    Looking at either metric, it's pretty clear the combination of SoD + UF hurt the population, and that it has been on the decline in general.

    Not sure that this is that important/useful, but it was more fun than farming TT.
  3. Scornfire Augur

    Not surprised UF killed so many, terribly tuned expansion
  4. Littlelegs Elder

    Kimbella, Brohg, Aldren and 4 others like this.
  5. niente Developer

    This is really neat.
    I'm wondering what you guys think caused the significant drops?

    Was SoD too easy for too long, or was UF too hard? Also, what happened in DoDH -> PoR?
    It's too bad there's not data for pre-GoD too.

    Edit: I guess I am wondering, why do guilds die.. can be a lot of things but the expansions clearly have an impact.
    IblisTheMage and Allayna like this.
  6. Maedhros Augur

    Prophecy of Ro was simply a very fast expansion. Was it the last mid year expansion?
    DODH was fairly tough, and there were several raids that blocked a lot of guilds before they ever even got to Dreadspire. Many guilds hadnt beaten DODH when POR came out, and then the next thing you knew TSS was out and made all the POR content obsolete.
  7. ~Mills~ Augur

    Never gonna stop attrition but from my point of view you guys continually speed it up when you take away options. SoD was to easy and it took guilds and playstyles that didn't belong in current content exclusively and essentially forced them there because everyone could win and get the best of the best. Then UF hit and took that all away with just the entry raids and content being beasts to certain playstyles and guilds. And all those low tier and mid tier guilds that had stuck in their respective niche's for years suddenly just crumbled as no longer did they have multiple expansions to fall back on because they had become fully current dependent after farming SoD and UF was all they had left but it no longer allowed them to progress with their time, force or skill sets.

    On a micro level it still keeps happening as patch days for most have become like a Hunger games reaping where you hope your class doesn't show up in the patch notes cause its all down hill from there with the limited time and resources we hear about when it comes to even the basics these days.
    Slippry likes this.
  8. Allayna Augur

    Important to differentiate raiding guilds from guilds. Raiding guilds typically die from lack of wins. Guilds have entirely other dynamics that can allow them to crumble, like drama.

    I will say what I see/hear from newer applicants time and again, on why they left the guild they were in, “tired of wiping” is always the most common answer.

    So the development of tough content that is challenging doesn’t hurt the top 5. It hurts the mid tier. Mechanics that are literally, pay absolute 100% attention for 20 minutes or wipe an entire raid force are not for everyone and certainly drive away “casual raiders”.

    Mechanics can certainly be challenging without 1 persons LD affecting 54, but this hasn’t been the trend for about the last 3-4 years.
    IblisTheMage and Maedhros like this.
  9. Axxius Augur

    Wasn't just UF, it was SoD + UF, as Sancus mentioned. A perfect ****storm: the easiest expansion ever that bored the **** out of everybody fast, then the Hard Mode that forced all guilds to bench 1/3 of their members pushing them out of the game, and then an insanely overtuned expansion that those guilds had to face right after sustaining heavy losses in SoD. If the devs wanted to kill as many guilds as possible, this design strategy would be close to ideal.
    Aldren, Scornfire, Maedhros and 2 others like this.
  10. Moege Augur

    Totally agree with this, from no limit on raid numbers to 72 then 54. People want to play not be told sorry raid is full, lost a lot of friends from the 72-54 reduction.
  11. Tarvas Augur

    I think the post below explained it.

    I think the game use to have depth where a person could move between expansions and still be relevant, but now everyone is pretty much stuck gearing in the last two expansions. I could be wrong but everything is pretty much dead below EoK besides for Gribbles and check mark runs.
  12. yepmetoo Augur

    This chart is misleading. The scale of it and the lack of context.

    1) It lists any guild that bothered reporting a kill EVER. So it is no surprise that the older the expansion the greater the number. For example, the last guild to report a GoD raid kill was 5062 days after release (like 14 years later), and that was on a live server.

    It would be more appropriate to look at how many guilds recorded a kill while the event was relevant (how to determine? 1.5 years after first kill? when the raid gear has 80% of current group gear? what?). That would lower the slope of the line significantly.

    2) There is no context to population. We know that EQ peaked at around 600,000 subscriptions in the GoD era. We have no numbers beyond that other than guesses from fan sites. I doubt anyone would guess that EQ currently has 100,000 current players, much less subscribers (and remember, players box more now, but box much rarely in raids, so total numbers of unique players is even much lower than whatever your sub numbers say too) in TDS, yet 1/6th as many guilds recorded a kill as in GoD.

    It should be apparent that the following is qualitatively true, but no one but daybreak could give us the quantitative or relative values:

    1) Less accounts are active as time goes on (on live servers, so ignore any potential TLP bumps)

    2) Less unique players are active as time goes on

    3) Attrition happens because it is an older game and more people stop playing than begin playing

    4) Several mechanisms led to the rise of the number of raid guilds in the level 65-75 era:
    a) Beginning of raid instances, and they became more prevalent as that period went on, allowed for guilds to schedule raids versus "batphone", more people could raid
    b) Gear stagnation meant that gear was relevant for YEARS, with group gear ultra stagnated giving a reason to raid older content for a long time (e.g. TSS group gear is worse than GoD raid gear, GoD raid gear is close enough to all but the end game TSS raid gear that it was functional in raids)
    c) Until TSS, the rate of raid gear entry into the game was limited so that people were forced in general to use older gear for a long time
    d) All these meant that there was a clear demarcation in raiders and groupers, and you had tons of "family" guilds of people that had to raid for gear, weren't necessarily super invested, and with widely fluctuating rosters, and a lot of guilds killing "entry" level raids but never killing "high end" raids until expansions had inflated gear to allow them to do so with less people or less execution

    5) When gear inflation accelerated, and group gear became better relative to raid gear, it caused the following:
    a) Many people no longer had a reason to raid. Why "raid" for inferior or equivalent equipment when you can go group or box to get the same.
    b) Many people were "pushed" to "better" raid guilds because of the same thing, they were not making any headway into the "Stat" game, and with many of their guilds struggling due to (a), they had to make a choice, many quit, many left their guild
    c) This was also the beginning of "everything is instanced", so every guild could complete everything
    d) A confluence of factors that led to more guilds, as a percentage of active guilds, completing expansions (remember, at one point a dev made the statement that THIS WAS THEIR INTENTION) in era, while many guilds dying off quickly

    6) SoD was an anomoly for several reasons:
    a) It was the first full expansion in the year long expansion cycle (SoF was where it was announced, but SoF was built on the 6 month expansion cycle)
    b) 36 guilds beat the first MMM raid within 6 months of the first guild, 53 guilds by day before SoD
    c) 10 guilds beat Kerafrym raid within 6 months of the first guild (which was the same as before the end of the year, yay flagging time sinks) - this becomes 12 and 23 if you use the first Crystallos dragon
    d) as a comparison, 23 guilds beat crypt robbers within 6 months in RoS, 16 beat the expansion within 6 months of RoI and 20 have beaten it before TBL
    e) 48 and 91 for Korafax in SoD, 37 and 59 for SoD
    f) What is the pattern? A lot of guilds beating a "mid tier" raid and raiding through the end of the year pushing into the mid tier in SoF turns into a LOT of guilds when the expansion is 1) easy 2) has entry level raids to gear up quick 3) gear inflation is high in raids, 4) group gear eclipses older raid gear and EASY to obtain (versus SoF which took longer), and then after that transition is FINISHED, the only path left is for "end game guilds" that complete most or all the content. And now we are the point from that point on, where guilds that beat the mid tier content beat the end tier content while current except a handful of guilds, and those guilds are the ones that often begin their death spiral.

    We are losing about 2 raid guilds a year. And I think it is simply normal attrition from an aging population.

    Underfoot wasn't nearly the "killer" it was made out to be. The number of raid guilds to beat the BT trials (mid tier raid) were still more than guilds that beat SoF raids in the time frame. What happened was all these "mid tier" raid guilds formed in SoD due to players getting pushed out of more casual guilds into casual raid guilds (so many guilds formed that would stall on trying to get flagged (correctly flagged) for the korascian raids, and spent half their time doing hard mode queen and that gnoll raids), that couldn't beat Fippy, so guilds died and reconsolidated. And with easy to get group gear (for people geared in SoD hard mode gear), why go raid if you don't want to?

    Sure, Underfoot had a 2 overtuned zones for true groupers (those that had no raid gear), but that isn't what hurt this game, that entire argument is easily shown to be false by the simple numbers. We had a population shift due to a philosophy change, then going back to how it was for the most part, except longer time in era combined with GROUP gear changes, meant the chaffe was struck from the wheat and never had a chance or reason to come back.
  13. yepmetoo Augur

    Oh and yeah, the SoD numbers are also inflated because you could beat every raid with 36 or less. So you had guilds going the whole way with 20% less people than they would have had/needed in SoF or UF. So spreading out happened, then reconsolidation.
  14. Bamboompow Augur

    There simply are too few coming into the game in at the ground floor to replace attrition, and those that are find it lonely and daunting. At least on Live. There is no advertising for this cult status game at this point, so it will be difficult to find friends at the ground floor to adventure with. Again, on Live.

    If I was a newb just starting out I would rather be on Progression server where the pace is structured at least.That and there are more people. Granted, most progression players are probably retreads doing another play through to maybe recapture past glory....but whatever. It doesn't matter as long as its other players to adventure with that are close in level and gearing.

    Typically what has been the guild killer that I have witnessed at lower end raiding is the drama caused by cliques of players who are unsatisfied with the pace of progression or the perception of losing ground to so called competitors. Keep in mind the majority of their other guild mates are fine with the status quo and the guild itself is not positioning itself as high end to begin with. Either they try to mold the guild to their design in some aspiration of making a mid tier or lower guild into some top 10 contender (Hey its happens but rarely) or they just leave for greener pastures. These are key players usually. Raid leaders/officers and players who are typically better skilled than the norm. Once they leave, the heart of the guild's raid force is usually ripped out in a totally selfish act.

    Once they are gone, Progression in general usually grinds to a halt and it all goes down hill from there. Potential recruits go to competitors. People get bored and stop logging in.Those who try to rebuild discover that its just hopeless and unfun and that no amount of peptalks are going to save the sinking ship.

    Lower end and mid tier is more about friends and familiarity than being ultra competitive, so once players in these guilds see their friends depart, they usually figure that's Game Over and retire their subs or they rerole if they decide to continue in order to give things a fresh start. They know that no higher end guild will take them and competitors can only absorb so many once their guild folds.

    Probably in due time the top 10 will have to recruit directly from group players. There won't be anything left to poach other than the #2 guild poaching from the #5 etc. You all can see how that will ultimately end. Perhaps if it didn't take 110 levels, 30k+ AA and mastery of a convoluted combat system to be viable to play in content that is basically becoming faster paced every expac, there might be more ground floor players.
  15. yepmetoo Augur

    That's the catch-22 though, isn't it? If they game was easy and low bar for entry into the raid game, many of the current raiders would quit. We already have people that have quit every year because the raids were "a joke" and it becomes some grind to show up every week for alt gear, especially 6 months in where the gear is 99% going to alts.

    They can't make it easier at this point or the game will take a nose dive in population, bank on it. I think reducing the rate at which raid gear enters so that it takes longer to gear up, while giving some challenging final raids (make all but the last 1 or 2 gimme's, that's fine), while again giving ways for people to race past "old boring" stages of the game quicker, might help, but let's be serious, it will just be a slow down of the problem at the cost of resources that give us content, and that content might be more valuable for keeping people playing anyway.

    Its like "too big to fail", sort of, but "too intertwined to fail" at this point, so slow strangulation is the reality.
  16. Bamboompow Augur

    If players find content too easy, maybe they should make themselves a set of Conflagrant gear and use only Rank I spells/abilities and see how that goes. Many of the ultra high achiever guilds are built like the ultimate Fantasy Sports team with perfect players at every position fully kitted out in the best gear in perfect groups with perfect leaderhship. The game is not built around "perfect". Its still a business and has to appeal to a somewhat broader base in order to make money.

    I think once you get to that point the game is stable but the price of admission to just be around players of equal level, never mind even raiding, is ridiculous.
  17. Cleaver Augur

    If you ever played Diablo 3 you will get this analogy.

    SOD was like playing the game on normal mode. UF was like playing it on torrent 13.

    To be honest the 54 person raid model is out dated. The game should move to 36 or 42.

    An aging game with a smaller player base it will always be hard for guilds to find 54 good players.
  18. Maedhros Augur

    Not all guilds struggle to recruit or keep 54 person raids going. This 36/42 person raid limit only causes the same crap that hard mode in SOD did, suddenly 18 people are sitting the bench. That is absolutely not a solution that works. It's just causing another problem.
    Ambition and Allayna like this.
  19. Rowanoak Elder

    After the 20th wipe on Mearatas…..
    Kimbella, Jondalar and gotwar like this.
  20. Cicelee Augur

    The thing is, the majority of guilds probably struggle to keep 54 person raids. Just because the top 10/15 can consistently field 54 on a raid night doesn't mean guilds 16-50 can. I would imagine guilds 16-50 would be ecstatic for raids to be made for 42 or 36.

    And before you say that guild #27 is not a raid guild, my response will be... maybe if raids were made for 42 or 36, then they would be a raid guild.
    Lubianx likes this.
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